|KIT:||Rest Models 1/48 Polikarpov R-5sss|
|PRICE:||$68.00 from DMC Models|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Resin and etched brass|
The prototype with the German BMW VI engine (500/680hp) took off in1928 . (Later on, these planes were equipped with series motors, typeM-17B.) It was armed with a 7.62 machine gun PV-1 on fuselage to fire ahead and with a mobileDA-1 and/or a pairedDA-2 in the observer's field of vision. It could carry bombs up to 500kg under its wings.
The flight tests were successful; the series production was running in 1931-37. A rather large number of them were used during the Spanish Civil War as light bombers and reconnaissance aircraft. The planes were widespread and very popular for their flying properties. Besides the basic (reconnaissance) version there were made numerous modifications , some went into production, some were purely experimental.
During the Great Patriotic War, the R-5's still played a big role in front-line air force and in non-combat forces as well. They were fighting as night bombers till1944. After the World War II they were used in civil services for a long time. Somewhere between 5,000 and 7,000 were built.
The above history courtesy of the Internet.
Those of you who read the preview and full build review of the I-5 are aware that Rest makes probably some of the finest resin models around. The detailing is superb, the resin is perfect and fault free, and the quality of the etched brass, decals and other parts is world class. A very difficult act to follow, but one that will assuredly put Rest into the forefront of quality short run resin kits.
This one continues with the Polikarpov R-5, one of those aircraft that was built in large numbers, but about which one rarely sees or hears anything. To my knowledge this is the only 1/48 kit that has been done and it follows along with where the I-5 left off. You get a one piece upper wing with separate ailerons. The lower wings are to be simply butt-fitted . The forward cowling is a single, hollow construct into which you simply glue an exhaust stub assembly from the inside. There is a full interior with seat, stick, rudder pedals and a bunch of other 'stuff' to apply to the detailing on the inside fuselage wall. The fuselage is basically a box so you glue the four sides together to make it. Really, for this kind of plane it is a logical way to do things. The engine assembly is glued to the front. You have two options when it comes to the rear machine gun mount. The same is true for the wheels which come with or without wheel pants. Two bombs and bomb racks are also provided. Many of these smaller parts are a combination of resin and photo etch and I have to say that their choices of what is done in etched metal is perfect as these bits would normally be rather two dimensional. Though the wing struts are not in metal as with the I-5, they look strong enough. Metal is provided for the major main gear strut assembly and that should keep things from sagging over the years.
Instructions are top-notch with 14 construction assemblies. Interspersed are detail drawings for how various parts of the aircraft should look when you are done. Rigging information is given, and while not a totally simple aircraft, it should pose little problem for those who have done a few biplanes. The modeler will have to make a few simple things out of stretched sprue such as gun barrels, but nothing major. Markings are provided for six aircraft. All in Russian Green over Russian Blue. A color profile sheet is given to help choose which one wants. There are basically four from the Spanish Civil War and two Russian aircraft. One must be a demonstrator or something as it is very nicely done with a white flash down the fuselage side, yellow wing and fuselage bands and wheel pants. Decals are very nicely printed and quite thin. I'm not sure how opaque they are but the ones on the I-5 looked just fine.
This is a real beauty of a kit. While not cheap, it is not at all an unreasonable price considering the quality of what you get. I'll be passing this on to the bipe-meister for construction so you'll be seeing it soon.
Many thanks to DMC Models for the review kit.
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